Choosing a bath is not an easy task, but, frankly, it is difficult and troublesome. Let's try to facilitate your initial acquaintance with the bathtub market in Russia …
These baths are familiar to all the inhabitants of Soviet and post-Soviet Russia. Such baths were in the apartments that we or our parents received free of charge from the state. There was no alternative for many years, and therefore many of us, even having made a complete renovation in our apartment, have not bothered to change the bath. In fairness, I must say that the whole world is still willingly using cast-iron bathtubs, and if a bathtub is also equipped with hydromassage, then in Europe it will cost you quite a lot. Why? Cast iron is resistant to corrosion and retains heat well. If you like to relax for half an hour in warm water before going to bed, then this bath is for you.
Most of the cast iron baths on our market are still domestic. Not surprising. Who's lucky from abroad for a heavy cast-iron bath? Moreover, there has always been more pig iron per capita in our country than bananas and kiwi. On the other hand, if you are demanding on the quality of the enamel coating or prefer a bathtub with a design not so much like a rustic trough of the last century, then you should take a closer look at import offers.
Cheap, easy and not at all angry!
Steel tubs are cheap and easy to lift. But it is precisely this ease that inspires fear: some of them are suspiciously undignified, and even water is poured into them with such a ringing that all the neighbors will know when you are taking a bath.
Правда, на импортных ваннах устанавливаются резиновые прокладки, чтобы устранить этот эффект, но гулкость все равно остается. Кроме того, сталь остывает очень быстро и поэтому не годится для любителей полежать часок в пенной водичке. Впрочем, для дачи стальная купель - вещь замечательная. Ее запросто можно водрузить на крышу обычных Жигулей, привязав к багажнику, а потом установить в доме без особых проблем. Сталь легко гнется, поэтому ванны из нее делают совершенно разнообразного дизайна.
Good bathtubs have a steel thickness of at least 3.5 mm. They cost, respectively, more. Products of the German company Kaldewei are considered to be of the highest quality. At first glance, such a bathtub is difficult to distinguish from cast iron: the enamel is the same, and if the lower, unenamelled part is not visible, then even a specialist can be mistaken. How can you tell if it's steel? Knock on the edge and you will hear the characteristic tinny sound.
A new friend is better …?
Acrylic bathtubs appeared on the Russian market later than others. but in large quantities and from a wide variety of manufacturers. True, as it turns out, there is not much difference - all sheet acrylic for baths is produced today in Holland. In the same place, in the land of tulips and windmills, most of the acrylic bathtubs sold in our stores are born. A logical question arises: how do they differ from each other? It turns out to be acrylic grade, design and reinforcement layers. The design is clear. But with acrylic and reinforcement you need to figure it out.
So what is acrylic, or, scientifically, methacrylate? Scientists claim that it is a synthetic polymer, a polymerization product of acrylic acid esters, a colorless sticky rubbery substance that is resistant to oxygen, chemicals and light. That is, to put it simply, plastic. As it turned out, an acrylic bath is made like this: an acrylic sheet is taken, heated, and then a trough of the desired shape is blown out of it using special vacuum chambers. In this case, the thickness of the sheet is different, as well as the quality of the acrylic itself.
Conscientious manufacturers have acrylic thickness of at least 5-6 mm. Oddly enough, the better the acrylic, the worse it bends, therefore, acrylic is of a worse quality for baths of a particularly intricate design. Beauty requires sacrifice. After the trough is curved, it is not yet possible to use it as a bath: acrylic behaves like an ordinary plastic basin, bends in all directions and swells from the poured water, like a balloon. Therefore, the workpiece must be carefully strengthened or - as the production workers say - reinforced. At the plant of the Austrian company Pamos, this work is done by hand. Experienced Austrian craftsmen coat the lower surface of the acrylic bathtub with a special version of epoxy resin, which, hardening, fetters the fidgetiness of the plastic.
The procedure is somewhat similar to the application of a plaster cast in a trauma center. 2-3 layers of such a mixture of fiberglass and resin - and the bath acquires extraordinary stability. The thicker the reinforcement, the better the bath. The number of layers with which the bath was strengthened at the factory can be easily determined by carefully examining the edge of the rim. The layers are clearly visible, like annual rings on wood. You can knock. The more the number of layers, the more muffled the sound. Voicing and subtlety are not welcome here. Nevertheless, some manufacturers save on the reinforcement and will sell you a bathtub that will walk on its own. The feeling, I must say, is disgusting. Many buyers, in pursuit of cheapness, find a pod too late, when the bathtub underneath them unexpectedly sprawls, and a ton of foamy water, like a tsunami, sweeps away the entire newly completed European-style renovation into oblivion.Thus, some Turkish and Italian firms that supplied acrylic bathtubs to Russia have tarnished (in the literal sense of the word) their reputation.
What are the benefits of acrylic baths? What happens, for example, if you drop something iron into a steel or cast iron bathtub? Brittle enamel will break off immediately. Moreover, a dent will appear on the steel surface. Is it all subject to some kind of resuscitation? Hardly. You can try to enamel the damaged bathtub again, but you will never return to its original appearance. With acrylic - you just need to scratch a little deeper each crack around the split, fill it all with acrylic and sand it. There will be no traces left. Generally. Moreover, acrylic repair kits are sold in the same stores as baths. Special skills are not needed, the whole restoration will be done very inexpensively and very quickly.
In addition, modern technologies provide you with:
abrasion resistance (a good acrylic bath is almost immortal);
thermal insulation and sound insulation (water heat preservation and low noise level when it is collected is approximately the same as in cast-iron baths);
the possibility of painless restoration.
The choice is yours!
Endless design possibilities
In addition to the variety of materials, bathtubs in Moscow stores are distinguished by many design tricks. It turns out that bathtubs can be round, square, oval and triangular. There are bathtubs for two, bathtubs with armrests and handles, and bathtubs with ladders and transparent portholes in the sides. In addition, baths today can be bought in almost any color or even painted to order in any shade that comes to mind. Including the color of a frightened nymph's thigh.
Recently, another new material for baths has appeared on the market - Quaryl is a mixture of quartz and acrylic. Quartz increases the strength of acrylic and no reinforcement is required at all. Moreover, quartz grains of sand are round, and each is in an acrylic capsule, and the space between them is filled with acrylic. Kvaril retains all the positive properties of acrylic, but unlike acrylic, bathtubs are made from it by casting. It is almost impossible to damage the surface of the quary: an object that has accidentally fallen into the bathtub will not leave a trace on the newfangled material.
Quaril bathtubs are heavier than acrylic, but still lighter than cast iron. Due to their hardness, quaril baths allow the use of clear lines in design, without the roundness inherent in conventional bent plastic. This is important if the tub is tiled so that seams can be minimized. The novelty has already been presented on the Russian market by the German company Ucosan. You can buy a bath from Kvaril today in the Villeroy & Boch showrooms, and nowhere else.